I’m now back from Almendralejo where the GUADEC-ES
has been held this last weekend. The short summary is: “wow, amazing”, for
more details, read on.

There were much more assistants to the conference than what was initially expected,
and talks were about many topics, mainly around hacking and deployment of GNOME
over Extremadura and other places. That deployment in Extremadura is simply
amazing, making Extremadura the promised land for us, GNOME people. First of all,
everyone is using GNOME, includings kids, teachers, polititians.

Secondly, it
was amazing to see polititians (Almendralejo’s Mayor, for instance) talk about
Free Software and GNOME without mistakes, proving that they knew what they were
talking about. One of the first talks was about that deployment, which is getting
new technologies and Internet access to all schools in Extremadura, including the
ones in small villages. Extremadura is clearly taking the lead in GNOME and Linux
deployment, so we should really take advantage of that. We’ve got around
200,000 beta testers there, so some way for getting feedback from all those
people (to be many more as the deployment continues) might be needed. Of course, we don’t want
all of them filing bugs and asking questions on IRC, but you get the idea. I
mentioned this in my talk, but didn’t get any answer, idea, or suggestion from the
crowd, but I’ll continue trying.

As always, lying around with the GNOME
people has been the funniest thing of the trip to Almendralejo.
Jokes and hacking is what is around all the time, so you end up finding yourself
at 3 AM, a bit drunk, and running to the bed for waking up in the morning at 8 AM.

Luckily I’m a bit more responsible than some of the other people (I won’t mention
names, but you know who you are :-) that were getting to bed with the first sun rays.
I was exhausted sleeping 4/5 hours per day, so imagine sleeping 2/3.
Of course, the faces and voices in the morning were the proof to know who had gone
to sleep early and who didn’t.

It was also pretty funny how the (our own local) flamebait about the Mono/Java debate
turned into a lot of jokes that made us laugh like crazy. We didn’t come to any conclusion,
like the people at Planet GNOME, but we laughed a lot at least.


Since the conference finished on Sunday at 16:00, Yolanda and I decided to stay
Sunday’s night at Mérida (Emerita Augusta, home of Russel Crowe
in Gladiator), since we were pretty tired (due to Almendralejo’s life at night) and
had 700 kms to drive home, and given the
, we didn’t want to take the risk of an accident. So, we did a bit
of sightseeing to find an amazing city, plenty of roman vestiges.

Royal Wedding

And, forgot to say, thanks to the GUADEC-ES in Almendralejo, we missed the bloody
royal wedding!